Agro Food Park, a dynamic ecosystem for agricultural and food businesses, discussed their role and contributions in transforming the agricultural and food industry towards a sustainable and greener future. Agro Food Park acts as a thriving hub that accommodates startups and established enterprises, facilitating innovation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing.
With projections indicating that 68% of the world’s population will reside in cities by 2050, the need for accessible and healthy food is pivotal. Agro Food Park is strategically positioned to address these challenges by serving as an international hub for innovation and knowledge exchange within the agricultural, food, and technology sectors.
Anne-Marie Hansen, CEO of Agro Food Park, stated, “Agro Food Park is the place to be if you are part of the agricultural and food industry. We are committed to ensuring Danish agricultural and food companies can compete globally, focusing on technology, knowledge exchange, innovation, and sustainability.”
Since its establishment on September 9, 2009, Agro Food Park has been a notable sector for Danish agricultural and food companies, facilitating international competitiveness while advocating for sustainability, cultural values, and social responsibility. It is set to expand in phases, guided by a master plan designed to foster collaboration between researchers and businesses, ultimately ensuring long-term food security in densely urban environments.
Agro Food Park believes in taking an integrated approach to decarbonization, which includes zero-emission solutions for buildings, energy, and transportation. These solutions have demonstrated significant reductions in CO2 emissions and operational expenditures. By embracing such integrated strategies, companies can not only reduce their carbon footprint but also enhance their property values.
Decarbonization is a central theme in Agro Food Park’s journey towards sustainability. They recognize that buildings, energy, and transportation are pivotal in achieving a carbon-neutral future. Through integrated retrofits, businesses can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 60%. Companies adopting these solutions also benefit from a 25-30% reduction in operational and capital expenditures, alongside potential income from excess energy generation. Such energy-efficient buildings can command a premium of 10-25% in property value.
To facilitate this transition towards a sustainable future, Agro Food Park emphasizes the importance of collaboration between diverse actors such as building managers, fleet managers, energy procurement, and sustainability executives. Governments can play a pivotal role in supporting this transition by updating regulations, permitting processes, and providing incentives for integrated approaches.
Ms. Anne-Marie Hansen, CEO of Agro Food Park, stated, “We are committed to connecting competencies in the agricultural and food industry. Our vision is to create the leading innovation environment for agriculture and food companies in Europe. By fostering collaboration, knowledge sharing, and sustainable practices, we are determined to drive this industry towards a cleaner, more resilient future.”
A significant leap towards a sustainable future is the establishment of a new Department for Food Research at the University of Aarhus. With expertise spanning the entire food value chain, the department will focus on sustainability, food supply, waste reduction, and health advantages, reinforcing collaboration with the dynamic environment within Agro Food Park.
In addition, Agro Food Park will be hosting the Food & Bio Global Summit 2023 on September 26 and 27. This two-day event will bring together industry leaders, universities, and relevant stakeholders to discuss sustainable ecosystems, formulate actionable plans for transforming food systems, and foster collaboration between industry and science. The summit will feature keynote speakers, success cases, panel discussions, active participation, and networking.
Anne-Marie Hansen expressed, “The summit aims to start a movement towards a sustainable food system. It’s a testament to our commitment to creating a greener future for agriculture and food.”
Agro Food Park’s industry specialization ensures a strong network where companies can focus on their growth while contributing to a sustainable future. It is already home to 75 companies and 1,000 employees. Its mission is to connect competencies across the agricultural and food industry. Through collaboration, knowledge sharing, and fostering a sense of community, Agro Food Park aims to tackle the challenges of the future head-on. By uniting companies under a shared goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, Agro Food Park is setting a precedent for sustainable business practices.
In a recent survey, Agro Food Park received positive feedback from managers and representatives of the companies, highlighting the satisfaction and development within the park. The results underscore the importance of Agro Food Park’s role in advancing the industry.
Similar to Agro Food Park seeking to be an industry-specific global hub in Europe within food and agriculture, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in 2021 announced to triple Dubai’s food production supported by the launch of Food Tech Valley in Dubai positioning it as a global destination for the industry, being a home to innovation within food production. Accordingly, good opportunities for cooperation between UAE and Denmark.